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Green the right pick for Bengals

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Posted April 28, 2011 @ 8:55 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Questions about the future of QB Carson Palmer continue to hound the Bengals, but they cannot be faulted for taking Georgia WR A.J. Green with the No. 4 overall pick.

Green, who carries the highest grade given to a wideout by PFW personnel analyst Nolan Nawrocki since Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson in 2007, has Pro Bowl talent. Tall, fast and fluid, Green should be an immediate starter for the Bengals, who could undergo some turnover at wide receiver. For starters, Terrell Owens, who led the team in yards, catches and receiving touchdowns a season ago, is an unrestricted free agent who isn't expected to be back.

Also, the addition of Green could signal the end of Chad Ochocinco's time in Cincinnati. He has one year left on his contract, and fourth-year WRs Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell thrived playing the outside wideout roles late in the season.

Suddenly, the WR picture in Cincinnati is a little more crowded, but in a good way. Green has the ability to stand among the game's elite.

Yes, we still don't know if Carson Palmer will ever play for Cincinnati again. Certainly, the Bengals need to execute a contingency plan at this all-important position. It will be interesting to see if they add a passer in Round Two, or perhaps look to free agency or the trade market. But taking a quarterback fourth overall wasn't the right play in this draft, not with Green on the board.

The Bengals became a tougher matchup for the Steelers and Ravens on Thursday. Not a bad start to the draft for Cincinnati, not bad at all.

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